Saturday, September 8, 2012

Caliber contemplations

I seem to be facing a mild dilemma.  As one who suffers somewhat from joint degeneration in both thumbs, my grip strength has decreased, and my hands can be painful.  This was what led me to my recumbent bicycle, more than anything. and the recumbent is a true joy to ride!  But I am speaking now, of calibers--as in handguns. 

It has been a while (too long truthfully) since I pulled triggers on anything, let alone a pistol, but with my hand pain I needed to see how it affected my ability to shoot an XD45, and  an all-steel 9mm.  I have been contemplating downsizing to a 9mm, possibly a M&P 9mm but I have not yet had a chance to try one out.  So I went to the local indoor range yesterday to see how my hands did.

First up, was the XD45 with both a full size magazine and the compact one.  Other than an issue with the fiber optic part of the front sight deciding to fly out (at least I found it later) in mid-mag, I shot the .45acp rather well considering the absence of practice in recent memory.  However, I did notice the recoil in my hands by way of pain.

When I switched over to a FM Detective High Power, by first thought was WOW!  Where's the recoil??  I had forgotten the difference caliber and steel can make in felt recoil.  No pain.  However, the sights on the FM are somewhat lacking (and that is being generous!  In truth they SUCK.)  However once I saw where the holes were appearing on paper, I was able to adjust to a suitable point of impact.  I did notice though, that my shots tended to drift left of center, possibly due to too little trigger finger, or pushing it left as I squeeze the trigger.  I will have to work on that.  Oddly enough that was less of/not an issue with the XD.

My dilemma is this:  Do I find a new 9mm ($500-800) and get rid of the XD?  Do I seek to upgrade the rear sight on the FM (about $230 all said and done, from Novak)?  Do I stick with the XD45 despite the noticeable pain in both hands after I was done shooting (zero cost factor)? 

Part of me is enamored of the "new toy" idea of a new pistol.  But that does involve a fair bit of expense--not just in the pistol, but in spare magazines, and a new holster.  Part of me says to upgrade the FM, and run it instead.  That would be the mid-range cost factor and within my available budget.  And my Scottish ancestors are all in favor of just running the XD and calling it good until the pain becomes unmanageable.

Maybe I should go back to the range, and try some of the rental pistols.  I have several different pistols I would like to try out.  That would help me see if a change of platform would work.  It would also give me some more trigger time so I can see if I can work out that left-drift of my shots.

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